While researching this topic, I found there is a medical term for this, stress induced cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome.
It causes the heart to swell, one may experience shortness of breath, chest pains similar to a heart attack, all brought on by loss or stress factors.
You may have known of an elderly couple, one spouse passes away and the other soon follows.
The second dies of a broken heart.
During the Christmas season of 2012 I asked God to teach me what it meant to have a broken heart.
To feel as he felt toward people.
To love people with no promise of love being returned.
In all my life, I have never had a prayer answered so specifically and the unfortunate part of such a lesson, is that it never ends.
The heart once broken by God never heals.
The reason I can determine that this is going to be a life long lesson, is that God continues to put me in situations with people, where I feel as though I am absorbing their pain.
That is not a compliment to me.
In fact, more than once, I have asked God to take it all back.
To further complicate the matter, a female friend recently suggested that I read Francine Rivers’, Redeeming Love.
She said, “John, you will be one of the few men I know that will get this book.”
So as I worked my way through Redeeming Love, which is based upon the Biblical book of Hosea, I felt myself being pulled further into this experience of “the broken heart.”
It is difficult to put into words the love that Hosea had for this woman.
He had loved no one more fully, more passionately than she.
He would never find another like her.
There would be no other than her…there would be no one after her.
She had found what all women say they pray for, but few believe they will ever find.
Someone to love them unconditionally and to find their imperfections perfect and redeeming to God in every way.
In fact one of the chapter headings from Redeeming Love, uses this passage from a Byron poem,
“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of, cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes.”
I would encourage you to ask God to bring someone into your life, not to break your heart, but to bring someone into your life where you can absorb their pain, as God has at times absorbed yours.
Pray this prayer, “Most compassionate God, break my heart for what breaks yours.”
He will answer that prayer if prayed sincerely and without reservation.
“It is he who has torn us–he will heal us. He has wounded–he will bind us up. In just a couple of days, or three at the most, he will set us on our feet again to live in his kindness.” Hosea 6:1-2